Organisation calls for Belgian online sports betting and lottery age to rise to 21

In a 2024 memorandum, the Belgian expertise centre for alcohol and other drugs (VAD) outlines its wishes to increase the legal gambling age as one of nine main priorities.

Belgian expertise centre for alcohol and other drugs
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The VAD, a Flemish expertise centre for alcohol, psychoactive medication, gambling, gaming and illegal drugs in Belgium, has called for gambling law to be changed.

In its 2024 memorandum, the organisation called for the age of online gambling to increase from 18 to 21.

Currently, all land-based casinos require participants to be 21 or older to play. This age limit also applies to online casinos.

However, all other online games of chance such as sports betting and lotteries can be played at 18.

The VAD cites sports betting as a gateway for younger players to develop gambling addiction.

Citing the 2022 World Cup, the VAD states that more than 43,000 new gamblers registered on a licensed gambling site in Belgium, with the majority of players under the age of 30.

The VAD’s call to raise the age of online sports betting to 21 aims to prevent addictive gambling behaviour developing in young adults.

Furthermore, the VAD has called for amendments to healthcare to include addiction in insurance policies.

Belgium has previously introduced a number of measures to combat gambling addiction, such as a ban on gambling advertisements since 1 July 2023.

Earlier this month, The Gaming Commission (GC) in Belgium released its licence fees for 2024. The amount licensees are required to pay in 2024 ranges from €22,085 ($24,193) to €123.

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